Takeovers Panel asks Chows who they sold shares to

The Chows reduced their holding to 88.6% from 91.6% through a series of transactions last week.

Property developers and NBR Rich Lister John and Michael Chow have reduced their holding in Chow Group as part of their efforts to meet NZX listing requirements but the Takeovers Panel wants to know if any new shareholders should be considered "associates" that wouldn't count for code compliance.

The Chows reduced their holding to 88.6% from 91.6% through a series of transactions last week that were "part of Michael and John Chow's long-term plan to levels closer to that which would be required to meet the spread requirements of NZX for main board companies," the company said today. The Takeovers Panel had subsequently written to the brothers seeking details of who the shares were transferred to, it said.

Last week Michael Chow, who is company chairman, said there had been criticism of the dominance of the John Chow Investment Trust and the Michael Chow Investment Trust on the register, which limited the liquidity of the stock.

"We took on board the comments that the percentage we held was going to impact the liquidity of the shares," he said. "We had been approached by friends and family to purchase shares and we have agreed to sell shares."

The brothers are as well known for their ownership of Wellington brothels as for their property development company, which achieved a backdoor listing via the shell company RIS Group [NZAX: RIS] and now includes Brent King and Clint Webber as directors along with the Chows.

John Chow said the company had about 1600 shareholders.

The shares last traded down 9%  at 9.1c , valuing the company at $74.9 million.

(BusinessDesk)

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